Lawrence Turman

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Short Circuit Review

I am sure that, back in the mid-1980s, I wasn't alone in believing that we were just a lightning strike away from a robot becoming sentient. I probably wasn't alone in believing Fisher Stevens was a native-born Indian, too, but that's another matter.

You can thank Short Circuit for all of this. Massively successful and influential in its era, it's a story of an evil military corporation vs. one man. Or rather, one robot who thinks he's a man: The now-infamous Number 5.

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The Thing Review

Very Good
John Carpenter made one of his better films back in 1982 but had the unfortunate bad luck to have to release it two weeks after E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial came out. Luckily, The Thing endures as a very good horror flick: genuinely scary and full of tension, and populated by one bad-ass monster. Russell does some good work as the star, but it's the supporting cast that set the pace for dozens of trapped-with-a-monster knockoffs to follow over the next 20 years.

The Graduate Review

A rare, introspective masterpiece about a recent college grad (Dustin Hoffman) and his jaded outlook on life... which leads him into an ill-advised fling with the older, married Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). A true classic and the spawn of the immortal one-word line of advice: "Plastics."

Hoffman is unforgettable, as is Bancroft (supposedly old enough to be Hoffman's mother but actually only 6 years his senior in real life). Of course, Buck Henry and Calder Willingham's adaptation of Charles Webb's novel is what makes this picture so perfectly solid ("Mrs. Robinson... you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"), and who can forget the masterful direction of Mike Nichols, here in his prime, setting up that immortal shot of Hoffman as seen beneath the bent knee of Bancroft? And Simon & Garfunkel's soundtrack is also perfectly apt, unforgettable to this day.

Continue reading: The Graduate Review

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